A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists


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October 1st, 2019 • Featured, Quill Archives, Ethics Toolbox
The SPJ Code of Ethics at 110

As the Society of Professional Journalists celebrates its 110th anniversary in 2019, it may come as a surprise that SPJ did not have its signature Code of Ethics for the group’s first 17 years. In 1909 when the young men at DePauw University founded SPJ as a college fraternity, Sigma Delta Chi, one of their goals was “to advance the standards of the press by fostering a higher ethical code.” But they could not agree on just what that code would be.


September 25th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog, Ten With...
10 with Brian Stelter

Now a senior media correspondent for CNN and the host of “Reliable Sources,” Brian Stelter’s rise to prominence began as a freshman in college when he created the blog CableNewser (later renamed TVNewser). His blog caught the attention of many media executives and was ultimately bought by MediaBistro.


September 18th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Archives
Looking backward: 1909

In an effort to understand where we came from, Quill asked Sandy Davidson, Curators’ Teaching Professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, to paint a picture of what the world looked like for the media around the time of SPJ’s founding.


September 12th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Archives
Teaching truth

A Stanford University study found most middle school students surveyed couldn’t tell native advertisements from news articles. As concerning: Many high school students couldn’t distinguish between a real news source and a fake one on Facebook. “When I started in 2011, there was not any concept that media literacy was needed in the 21st century,” according to Erin McNeill, founder of the national Media Literacy Now organization.


September 4th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Archives, From the President
From the President: Carpe diem

One hundred ten years ago, 10 young men dressed in black and white ceremoniously entered the chapel at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. and pledged their faith to the power of journalism. Their youthful idealism gave rise to the Society of Professional Journalists.


August 29th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog
Excerpt: “There’s No Crying in Newsrooms” explores barriers facing women journalists

In the new book “There’s No Crying in Newsrooms: What Women Have Learned About What It Takes to Lead,” authors Kristin Grady Gilger, senior dean at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University, and Julia Wallace, the first woman editor-in-chief at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, share stories of groundbreaking women journalists.


August 15th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Odds and Ends
Review: It’s the press against the Pres in new Watergate board game

Connecting two sources directly to President Nixon was proving challenging, in spite of the efforts of reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Just when a connection looked solid, a potential source clammed up. Evidence couldn’t be secured. And Nixon was building momentum heading toward the end of his term.


August 8th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Ethics Toolbox
Quill question: When does sponsored content require disclosure?

An SPJ member asked: “A local entertainment publication provides a weekly print edition with information on weekly entertainment happenings in the area. They also feature various articles on people and events. Sometimes the cover is sold for the featured event. Does this require a disclosure?


August 5th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Q&A: Ben Montgomery, the reporter whose work led to Colson Whitehead’s novel “The Nickel Boys”

Ben Montgomery estimates that he’s written more than 150,000 words about Florida’s Arthur Dozier School for Boys, where for more than 100 years children were abused—or worse—at the hands of the state. Estimates are that nearly 100 boys died and were buried there before the facility was shut down in June 2011, and as recently as mid-July, University of South Florida forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle began an investigation of 27 possible graves at the site.


July 11th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog, Journalism Education
Excerpt: Bio explores pioneering AIDS reporter Randy Shilts’ wounded heart/determined soul

Randy Shilts was one of the pioneering reporters covering the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. With his book, “And the Band Played On,” his voice helped shape mainstream understanding of not only the disease, but of gay culture. In an excerpt from his new book, “The Journalist of Castro Street: The Life of Randy Shilts” (University of Illinois Press), Andrew Stoner, an assistant professor at California State University, writes about his personal connection to Shilts and his work. 


June 24th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog, Freelancing, Journalism Education
Excerpt: In “Talk to Me,” a lesson learned on the importance of interview location

Whether you are a seasoned vet or a newcomer to the field, it’s never a bad idea to refresh or rethink your interview skills. In an excerpt from Dean Nelson’s recent book, “Talk to Me,” the forty-year veteran journalist whose byline has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and more writes about his “tactical error” in interviewing Mexican president Vicente Fox and what he learned about the importance of location.


June 3rd, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
110 Journalism Movies, Ranked

Hollywood helps define just about everything in America. And journalism is no exception. From “Citizen Kane” to “The Post” and from “Libeled Lady” to “All the President’s Men,” reporters have clashed with editors, danced on both sides of the ethical line, and otherwise populated hits and duds on the silver screen.